early 20th Century
A set of glove knives, used to but the leather for making gloves.
Bury and Hopwood glove makers of Hyde.
The towns of Hyde and Denton in Tameside were important gloving towns. The industry was a major employer and shaped the development of the two towns.
By the turn of the twentieth century, Hyde had become the centre of gloving in Tameside and by the 1930s it had become one of the three most important gloving towns in Britain, alongside Worcester and Yeovil.
Gloving grew out of the traditional leather processing industries that were already well established in Hyde. The town’s good transport links made it the ideal location and the damp air also helped the industrial process.
The leather dressing factories processed goat, sheep and calf skins to produce high quality leather. Many of these manufacturers eventually turned to making gloves from their own leather.
Like hatting, glove-making was led by fashion. In the 1930s, goatskin and leather gloves were extremely fashionable. However, from the 1940s, due to increased competition from cheaper overseas products some firms decided to specialise.